It’s that time of year again – when Pike and Pine become overrun with confusing fences, music ripples between buildings of people hanging out their windows, and festival goers run rampant down the shut down streets. The 2013 edition kicked off with the usual sort of festival confusions, that started with short lines and ended in total bag-searching chaos. Stickers and Radiation City started us off with some A+ Seattle/Portland tunes at Vera. I finally caught up with the crowds at the mainstage – Danny Brown was as enigmatic as ever, his coiffed hair bouncing as he sped through snarky and sincere raps alike, “Blunt After Blunt” being a crowd pleaser. Much of “I Will” was sung by the front of crowd – early 20s festival-goers holding their hands up to block the sun while bodies danced.
Inside Neumos Portland’s Soft Metals played a danceable synth-filled set to a much small but appreciative crowd – clearly digging the vibes themselves, they danced right along with their music.
Sneaking outside to get some sun, I was stunned to hear what was apparently Dillion Francis – though he might have been the midday king of dancing for all I knew – bodies that had previously seemed tired already were now electric, girls clambered on the shoulders of friends and masks for some reason abounded at the front of stage. The heavy wah wah beat out from between the two silly stage cats across the ecstatic audience in all their neon tank-topped glory.
Next up was Canadian punks White Lung at the Vera stage – the only thing lacking was a proper mosh pit. Mish’s vocals screamed at the audience even while she had a smile on her face.
My night ended with Bleached at Vera Stage, the ladies whose dreamy California by way of teenage girl music incited happy and easy moshing. “Dead In Your Head” was a highlight as the audience sang along to the tune. That they’ve come a long way even in the past year was visible just in their choice of clothing – ditching the old 90s styles in favor of a Dum Dum Girl’s-esque all black ensemble.